Fighting the Angels
When I get the blues, everything in my life seems to be enshrouded in some sort of fog. It becomes impossible for me to see the larger vista of my life, as my focus is only on what is lacking, or what is painful, not on what is abundant.
Twenty-five years ago I was sitting in an old apartment of mine and I felt so happy that I had shelter, and a pleasant living room that felt cozy and warm and inviting. The next day I had a tough day at work. I came home and sat in the same chair, in the same room in the same apartment. I looked around -- gee, the sofa looked old -- and the walls needed repainting -- and that carpet really was the wrong color. NOTHING had changed in that room from the day before except me. It hit me then that I could actually choose to see the world in a variety of ways.
I have a couple of friends, both of whom have been through seminaries, who remind me when I am low to start counting blessings -- to literally sit down and create a "blessings list" on which there must be more than 10 items.
I hate it when they do that.
The depressed part of me wants to rise up and just scowl and sputter at them. Don't they SEE how miserable things are? Don't I have a right to feel sorry for myself?
I do have a right, even a responsibility, to feel my pain. But it is foolish and ungrateful of me to imagine that is ALL that is in my world. Yet at the moments I need to write out that list the most, it is hardest for me to remember to do it, hardest for me to actually set pen to paper and do it. The vortex of the blues is not a trifling thing.
So there they are, dear friends, making me understand that my life is not all sorrow and suffering. So I write out my list. I generally start crying before I am done, out of thankfulness, out of the rich and fruitful reminder that there is abundance in my life, that I am so deeply blessed. I fight like hell with those angels, then end up singing their praises.
Go figure. It's a funny old world. Even on a good day.
If you are reading this, I ask you to take a couple of minutes. Do your list. Don't argue about it. Just do it. Wrestle with your angels.